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Grand Master - , 1:15 pm On 10 Oct 2017
Unsworn testimony simply means a testimony not given under oath.
Usually the practice in courts is that all witnesses must be sworn. That is they must be administered oath or make affirmations in accordance with the provision of Oaths Act or Law as the case may be. (see section 205 of the Evidence Act 2011).
The common practice is for the court clerk to ask the witness what religion he belongs to and then to administer the oath. The words commonly used are 'I swear to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth'.
The court may however admit an unsworn testimony (i.e evidence not given on oath) in certain circumstances, these are:
1. Where the witness' religion forbids the taking of oath or he does not have any religious belief. (see section 208 of the Evidence Act 2011).
2. Where the witness is a child that has not attained the age of 14 years who does not understand the nature of an oath but in the opinion of the court possesses sufficient intelligence to justify the reception of his evidence and that he understand the duty of speaking the truth. (see section 209 of the Evidence Act 2011).
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